Mon. March 25, 2013: Sprouting Seeds and Scheduling Dilemmas

Monday, March 25, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Friday was a difficult day, and, frankly, there were times when I just wanted to give up. But I made it through. This week will be tough, but, hopefully, I will get through this, too.

I don’t remember much about Friday, except it was a blur of stress and pain.

Friday night’s rehearsal was a nice break, though. The actors are doing well, although they still have work to do. Friday was the painful rehearsal for them, where they realized that, in spite of all the good work they’ve done, there’s still more to do.

Came home late, exhausted.

Up early on Saturday. I filled in as the set-up person for the Tomorrow’s Writers Today program for teens at Barnstable Intermediate School, set up by The Cape Cod Writers Center. The people at the school were great, the teachers were great, and the kids were great. Terrific all around. At 10 AM, I handed off the program to the Executive Director.

The only thing about the experience that sent a chill through me was the postings, in every classroom, on “lockdown procedures” and “safe spots” set aside in every room. This is what it’s come to? It’s heartbreaking.

Came home, set up for the online Query Clinic, ran that.

Dealt with scheduling issues for the show. MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL is sold out, and we want to add a second show, but it’s getting it scheduled with the company that’s a challenge.

Received the grant money for SEVEN OF SWORDS, my other play, which just made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s not the amount (which was small, but fair), it’s the fact that we were respected enough, as playwrights, to be awarded money for our work.

Sunday was supposed to be my day off, and one that was badly needed, but it didn’t work out that way. Dealt with show stuff nearly all day, searched for stuff I needed for various projects, which led to reorganizing the storage unit over the garage. It looks great and I can get at everything, but I still didn’t get my hands on what I needed. So tired, I was shaking and dizzy.

The mesclun greens, bok choy, buttercrunch lettuce, speckled lettuce, and radish seeds all sprouted over the weekend. Very exciting! The tulips I planted in pots and overwintered in the garage are also blooming — lovely!

I have a meeting in Brewster this morning, and then have to deal with show stuff and the book. I’m supposed to have another meeting this evening, but there’s no way I can do all of it.

Didn’t get enough work on the book done, which upsets me. Worked with students, sent out a lot of pitches.

Have a blasting migraine, but have to work through it.

Devon

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Wed. March 20, 2013: Spring Equinox Lifts Spirits

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Spring Equinox

The angle of the sun is lovely, but it is c-c-cold! I’ll have to do some planting today (inside) in honor of the holiday! I’m looking forward to the ceremony!

Lost far too much of my workday dealing with the asshats at Verizon Wireless. The people in the office are both incompetent and take pleasure in being cruel. That’s why there are regulators, which is where this gets bumped to next. The paperwork will be a pain in the butt, but it will be worth it in the end. Corporations cannot be allowed to walk all over people, and the personnel within those corporations must be held personally and individually accountable when they commit illegal acts and hide behind “company policy”.

On the upside, I wrote nearly a whole chapter on the new book, did some marketing, wrote some pitches, worked with students, polished Saturday’s Query Clinic, and dealt with the press release special. I did some work for Confidential Job #1, got the payment stuff with them sorted out (like I said yesterday, they are one of the reliable clients), worked on the contest I’m judging, and started putting together my script coverage samples. I’ve done script coverage, but mostly for smaller producers. I need to take the samples and convert them into the more standard format, so I’ve got those coverage samples ready when I pitch for that type of job. I enjoy reading and evaluating scripts, and I can do so from a budget perspective as well as a creative one, so I’m going to start seeking out those jobs.

I’m going to help out the Writers Center on Saturday morning, setting up and checking in students for Tomorrow’s Writers Today (I’m not teaching, just helping them set up).

I cancelled rehearsal last night due to weather — I didn’t want anyone out driving in that.

Today, it’s pedal to the metal, focusing mostly on the book, but also on a few articles and other things.

Back to the page!

Devon

Last days to sign up for the Query Clinic — line-by-line support on your queries. Information here.

Tues. May 22, 2012: Roller Coaster Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was such and up-and-down day! Managed to revised six chapters of HEART SNATCHER, which was a great note on which to start. Got some other work done, spent time with students.

Had a few hours of alternating fury and misery when I discovered that some individuals on a job in whom I invested hundreds of hours of time and trust just threw it back in my face. Well, what are you going to do? I already knew the situation was not one in which I wanted to stay past the current commitments — but at least I FULFILL my commitments. It’s about fear, power, manipulation, done via passive aggression — you know how well THAT goes over with me! You don’t get your own way all the time, Pickle, especially when you’re wrong and doing something destructive to yourself and others. Imagining how to fictionally kill them off in a story made me realize just how ridiculous it all is, and how it’s not worth my time and energy. New doors are opening for me; I have no reason not to take fresh risks. Especially not out of misplaced loyalty.

The Writers Center wants to put me on their regular roster for Tomorrow’s Writers Today — they thought I did well, the kids responded positively, and they want me back. Good! I can take what I learned from this go-round, switch up a few things, focus it differently, and make it better.

I got some more good news — a piece one of my private students worked on under guidance has been offered a contract! I’m thrilled for her. She worked hard on it, and it was a case of taking a good idea and going deeper, that’s all.

I got my next assignment for Confidential Job #1 — a double this time! Can’t wait to do it. Didn’t manage to finish the article (still waiting for quotes). Managed, however, to do a good deal of press for my upcoming workshops — putting them up in local events calendars, etc. — and got some ads for business services out there. Got a negative response back on a pitch — but the content of the refusal had nothing to do with what I actually pitched, so I think they might have sent me someone else’s letter. In other words, I dodged a bullet!

Very tired, but that’s just the way it is right now. Looking forward to the holiday weekend break. I’ll be writing, but not interacting.

The West Dennis Library is doing a benefit on June 10. They asked me to donate a signed copy of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT for the Book Basket they’re auctioning off. I’m delighted! More information here.

A few things to think about/remember/check out:

On Saturday, May 26, from 10 AM to Midnight EST, please click over to 100carsforgood.com with your Facebook account and vote for the National Marine Life Center — we’re a finalist in the program, and have the chance to win a Highlander in order to transport wildlife to and from the hospital. It would make a huge difference to the center, so please stop by and give us a vote!

Writers Worth Week continues with Kimberly Ben’s article on Flexing Your Confidence Muscle.

Don’t forget to sign up for Setting Up Your Submissions System online seminar on June 2. I’ll walk you through bios, loglines, submission packets, clip files, the types of ways to prepare your files so all you have to do is attach, and more. The resource guide is worth the price. More information and registration here.

If you’re in and around the Cape area in June and July, I’m teaching in person at Three Fish and A Ram Community Art Center in Mashpee. There’s a tarot class for artists in all media, a writer/performer collaborative, and a writing workshop to stretch technique. I’ve got a page with details set up here.

I’m off to mediation now — I need it! Then, it’s back to work.

Devon

Monday, May 21, 2012: Busy weekend and Kick-Ass Editing Morning!

Monday, May 21, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy weekend! Honestly, I can’t remember what I was doing on Friday, other than prepping for class and getting press releases done and working with students.

Oh, wait — I went to an art opening at the Cape Cod Cultural Center in Yarmouth. That was fun. My friend (one of the inspirations for the upcoming Bellini Girls comic mysteries) invited me. The artist is the wife of a musician we know. Her work is lovely! I also met the mother of the previous tenant in this house (small world) and the associate director of the center. And a bunch of other people. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday was the Tomorrow’s Writers Today program. My fellow writer/teacher is terrific — he taught the non-fiction portion and I taught the fiction. We swapped books at the end — I can’t wait to read his book over Memorial Day weekend. What a treat! The kids were split into two groups and we each had one in the morning, and then we switched. I was pleased and impressed by the talent in the room. These kids are not writing pop culture derivatives. They’ve got IDEAS. And they’re more competent and understand the significance of things like spelling, grammar, and structure more than many of their adult counterparts. If I’m asked back, I’d structure it a little differently — I was trying to give them an overview of several different aspects, and each session had slightly different exercises. I think I’d want to either do a scene-by-scene story building or a revision intensive, if they wanted to bring me back. The sessions were so short, it was hard to build a group dynamic easily — if we worked, say, for two or three sessions together, it would have made sense to read aloud and split them into critique partners and stuff, but in a session this short, I didn’t want anyone to feel put on the spot. I might do a round-robin one-line of a story next time at the beginning to get them warmed up. IF I do it again.

But I’m glad I did it. I was wiped out, though, by the time I got home. I had a glass of wine on the deck, and then went in to watch the Preakness. As much as I wanted my friend to win, I was also glad that I’ll Have Another got the second leg, and there’s the chance for a Triple Crown this year. Creative Cause was still my favorite horse in the race, but I think both he and Gemologist will really come into their own during Saratoga and Del Mar.

A positive aspect of not officially covering the races this year is that I get the chance to simply enjoy them again. My coverage the past few years grew cynical. With this break, maybe next year I can approach it with a fresh enthusiasm.

I was so tired I did an hour of restorative yoga and was in bed by nine. I slept for 10 hours.

Sunday, I spent time with online students to make up for not being available Saturday, but finished fairly early. I walked to get the papers instead of taking the car, which was good, and read them out on the deck. Tessa was in the crate, having a good time. I also got some marigolds, so that I can transplant the tomatoes this week, and pair some eggplants with them, and put them in the new bed and the vegetable bed.

I already revised six chapters on HEART SNATCHER (today’s quota). I’ve got some pitches to get out, some follow-up to do, and hopefully the quotes for my article will come through today, so I can finish that and get it off. I want to do some work on HEART BINDER this afternoon and a couple of short stories. I was supposed to get a definitive answer on Friday about another manuscript, so I know how I have to fit that into the schedule, but nothing, so I’m not going to stress about it.

Over on Billy Root Blogs, “he” talks about Actors Filling Time. Writers Worth Week continues over on Lori Widmer’s blog on Finding Your Niche — which I totally DISagree with. Just so you know. 😉

My student and fellow author Nina Benneton has a great blog post over at Writer’s Digest here.

And hey, don’t forget to sign up for the Setting Up Your Submission System online seminar on June 2! You’ll be walked through each piece of the process and wind up with a reference guide that will help you for years! More information and sign-up here.

Devon